Sunday, August 21, 2016

Finding A Lover

"The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that's not the one.
"When you meet your 'soul mate' you'll feel calm - no anxiety, no agitation." - Monica Drake


I am normally
too clumsy but when it comes
to you, my love, grace
happens and I can
undo the ribbing around
your heart as though it
was not welded tight
by your own tensioned device,
by how the years fell.

August 9, 2011 3:56 PM

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Old Age

There is a typo on this line, so...only now it disappears... If I remove these lines and lead with the poem title the space between "In" and "My" in the poem title disappears. Hmmm...

In My Dotage

Your invitation
as always is a challenge
to be some other
than the sloven soul
I've become, bound in the dross
of my aging life.

I drool from the side
of my mouth and wipe only
half the time these days
but I do clean up
before going out of late.
I wish no offence.

‎August ‎7, ‎2011 9:23 AM

Monday, August 15, 2016

Goat Love

So you decided
to keep goats and let them roam
the cliff back of us
while you hung out on
Facebook with all your cyber
friends and I wandered
off from time to time.

You got four but then one was
stolen - Who would take
a goat anyway?
Two had paired. The white goat left
alone began to
bleat so hauntingly
we tried to comfort her, then
threw her off that cliff
when she died of it.

‎August ‎15, ‎2016 6:51 PM

In case the typo has passed through to your display in the first line... What appears to me as Soyou I wrote so you. I have tried. I have seen that I can do this phrase anywhere in the poem except on that line. I have tried to fix the display many different ways. But this is the poem I want to write with that precise line as the first line. It is the only place that for me So you comes out on the display lacking the space. For that matter, I put twenty spaces there once to see and they all dropped away to soyou. WTF?? This has never happened before and it apparently does not happen on any other line. If I want, I can make it disappear by taking the Title down into the body of the post, which moves the first line off that particular location. It goes fine then but that is not what I want. There must be a reason for this loss of a space that only happens in this phrase. God knows. I don't. But this is the post as I wanted it, so I am explaining... this poem is appearing with the first line as the computer insists it should be while the post's layout is as I insist it should be and that's that. This is the computer's idea of a joke.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Wood Burning

This is what we wanted but it's not what we got.

"I couldn't even
burn the wood", you said to me,
looking that way for
the thousandth damn time,
as if it was my fault again
that the wood was bad
or just whatever
was so wrong with me this time

and I get heavy
with it all, heavy
under your relentless press
on my aging heart.

Written July 29, 2011 12:25 PM
Modified August 12, 2016 6:35 PM

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Missing The Point

She's gotten away,
convincing us all Tuesday
to let her go soon,
then giving us hell
before giving us the slip
this last Wednesday.

I do feel foolish
for believing her better
than this, more stable,
more a deep root tree
than the whipping reed cutting
me as she passed through
and gone out the door.

‎July ‎27, ‎2011 7:15 PM
Modified August 11, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

At Least The Books

Keeping The Faith
Or At Least The Books
In My Old Age

Most of my toad life
I have slept alone. Sometimes
the bed was king sized,
big enough for two.

Before coming here, I moved
to my living room
and slept propped up on
my couch because that's where my
late night living was.

What happened - Francie
came back from expedition
and shoveled me into
her basement, complete
with a stripped down version of
my remnant household...
barely any sign
of my dead wife or mother
left me any more.

(I had moved into
my mother's house after she
died of her old age.)

We bought me a bed -
a hospital type of bed -
an adjusting wide
single for big guys
like me and sold off or scrapped
all the rest - except
the books - you must keep
the books on threat of losing
your shriven old soul.

‎August ‎1, ‎2016 3:37 AM

Honesty note: This image is not my bookshelving but is a fair estimate of the number of books I still have. I divested of most of the paperback novels as well as most of my household furniture to move to Francesca's basement.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Renewed Hope

2nd verse of The Star Spangled Banner:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

A rampart is a high wide wall of stone or earth with a path on top, built around a castle, town, encampment, etc., to defend it.

Renewed Hope

Shedding years again,
as if newborn, shiny pink,
I act innocent
and offer myself
molted and muted standing
on the high stony
top of your rampart,
if a gift, then brass moistened
by blown melody,
me the young trumpet
of my renewed hope for love
while I hold your heart.

July 27, 2011 4:12 AM

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Rain King

The Rain King

If the rain king saw
reason, he would suck it up.

He would head northward
and settle somewhere
around Vancouver B.C.
where he has duties

July 18, 2011 1:44 PM

When I wrote this poem I had no conscious knowledge of this

Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.

It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books.

It was ranked number 21 on Modern Library's list of the 100 Best Novels in the English language.

PLot Summary: Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status, and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as an inner voice crying out I want, I want, I want. Hoping to discover what the voice wants, Henderson goes to Africa.

Upon reaching Africa, Henderson splits with his original group and hires a native guide, Romilayu. Romilayu leads Henderson to the village of the Arnewi, where Henderson befriends the leaders of the village. He learns that the cistern from which the Arnewi get their drinking water is plagued by frogs, thus rendering the water "unclean" according to local taboos. Henderson attempts to save the Arnewi by ridding them of the frogs, but his enthusiastic scheme ends in disaster.

Henderson and Romilayu travel on to the village of the Wariri. Here, Henderson impulsively performs a feat of strength by moving the giant wooden statue of the goddess Mummah and unwittingly becomes the Wariri Rain King, Sungo. He quickly develops a friendship with the native-born but western-educated Chief, King Dahfu, with whom he engages in a series of far-reaching philosophical discussions.

The elders send Dahfu to find a lion, which is supposedly the reincarnation of the late king, Dahfu's father. The lion hunt fails and the lion mortally wounds the king. Henderson learns shortly before Dahfu's death that the Rain King is the next person in the line of succession for the throne. Having no interest in being king and desiring only to return home, Henderson flees the Wariri village.

Although it is unclear whether Henderson has truly found spiritual contentment, the novel ends on an optimistic and uplifting note.

Is it possible that my poem is a sequel?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Larceny In My Heart

What is this about
that you would know my old ways,
that you curled my truth
to match my curly
youth when I'm all straightened up,
a good and true masque
for an old actor
with larceny in his heart
and a yen for you?

July 26, 2011 1:00 PM

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Found Out

A Fledgeling Jay

The jays were raising
such a ruckus I had to
join in and find out
the truth that pained them.

It wasn't the cat only:
the young one grounded
trying to fly, fly
like Mom, like Dad, strain
and fret. fear because the cat
stalked relentlessly.

July 17, 2011 9:38 AM

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Those Eyes

Yellow Eyes
by Rutherford G. Montgomery, Jerome D. Nenninger (Illustrator)

Far back in the wildest of the mountain country hides Yellow Eyes, the great mountain lion, the most cunning and powerful of his hunted kind. Beautiful and cruel, like all big cats, Yellow Eyes and his mate, The Golden One, are tawny shadows lurking in the forest. Rutherford Montgomery is known for his honesty in the portrayal of animal life. In his stories animals are animals, not beasts playing the parts of human beings in a false drama of the wilderness.

Paperback, 253 pages
Published May 1st 1937 by Caxton Press
Original Title: Yellow Eyes (Caxton Classics)
ISBN 0870044176 (ISBN13: 9780870044175)

Those Eyes

Lord God I shall sing
and lift the edges of me
all because someone
saw me and said so.

This is the life You chose me
to live, all twined up
with someone who sees,
eyes like bright hollow needles,
twin streams of Your love.

July 17, 2011 9:17 AM

This children's book was part of my early reading. I love cats as much because of this book as anything else in my life.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Before The Moon Sets

Oh Sweet Christ, my love,
I am scattered by your eyes
and by the long spell
they cast upon me,
upon my salt shore before
I dive deep, otter
shaped, for shells you need,
and live fish for food and scales
to adorn your masks.

My joy is scattered
like seed and it sprouts, then fruits
before the moon sets.

July 15, 2011 12:47 PM

Monday, June 27, 2016

I Will Give You Salt

Salar De Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an altitude of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium reserves.

I Will Give You Salt

Stings of betrayal,
the pepper on our anguish:
this is how we bond.

This is bittersweet.

We dare the overt
ache of reunion because
we have to or die.

Oh my beauty, my true love,

I shall be the fire
red of blood, the honey cut
on your tongue.

I will give you salt.

July 15, 2011 12:28 PM

Friday, June 24, 2016

Stage Right

Written At The Desk, Stage Right

Oh then Tweedledum
and Tweedlefiddledeedee
were discovered on
the sly and slinking
off stage left as if they would
be better doing
more prosaic work
than one more damn poetry
reading, acting out
metaphors as if
at the commands we laid down -
the daily orders,
the unending drone
of authority smearing out
any possible

I gave them at
request, both a nom de guerre,
and even if Lou
chops off my fingers
one by one, I will never
reveal when or where
or who the Tweedles
really are, or who Lou is
for all that matters.

‎June ‎24, ‎2016 2:22:22 PM

In case you don't know...the image above shows you an actual desk at stage right. Stage right and stage left are always oriented to the performer facing the audience.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Sky Is Falling - Reprise

One Too Many Words

It was no idle
time and she wasn't nagging
either. I had just
picked my poem's pace
and sallied forth in adverbs,
in nouns and round verbs
building two five lines
and one seven in order,
some kind of order.
That's how I do things
these days, waiting for the ball
to drop, the sky to

January 2, 2013 6:44 PM

This poem was written and posted originally on the same date. If you think about it, the title's meaning is obvious. You can find the original in the archive listed by date down the right side of my blog page.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Jack Rabbit - Three Word Wednesday

Today is Three Word Wednesday, run by my friend Thom.
This week's words:

Taboo, noun: prohibition, proscription, veto, interdiction, interdict, ban, restriction; adjective: forbidden, prohibited, banned, proscribed, interdicted, outlawed, illegal, illicit, unlawful, restricted, off limits; unmentionable, unspeakable, unutterable, unsayable, ineffable; rude, impolite.

Taut, adjective: tight, stretched, rigid, fraught, strained, stressed, tense, flexed, tense, hard, solid, firm, rigid, stiff.

Tattered, adjective: old and torn; in poor condition.

The Jack Rabbit

They whisper taboo
and my old sinews are taut,
too much for my bones
to hold with due ease.

I was once a jack rabbit
in a former life.

At least that seems true.
I remember bald eagles
aiming at my thews
and me jacking back
and away of a sudden
so they missed, cussing
me out as only
eagles can - me in
full on run to ground and down
with tattered gray fur
to my hole for one.

‎June ‎22, ‎2016   8:07 PM

Go to Three Word Wednesday for the contributor list linking to their creative writing sites.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things Didn't Work Out - A Magpie Tale

You have jacked me up
with promises like tar sands
stretching to the sea,
leaving stained foam to
mark the water's curdled edge.

I am all confused
and can feel my pulse
behind my open sockets.

You have grabbed my wires
in your black crow form
and gone to roost in the pines
at the edge of things.

I'm still gathering
my oaths and incantations.
I will call you down.
You can count on it.

‎June ‎19, ‎2016 11:54 AM

Here is what I imagine. We went on vacation to Costa Rica and hiked to this spot, close to the coast. Just out of the picture we made camp and then bathed in the pool at day's end, using the waterfall as a shower. The jungle treated us very well, and I said so. You kissed me good night as if nothing was up and we slept. I woke once to find you lying beside me peacefully. We stayed fully clothed because of the insects. In the morning when I woke you were gone. Your gear was gone and where you set it seemed hardly disturbed. I found no note and no sign of foul play. I was sure you left me of your own choice, and I knew where you might have gone. I can still remember the Pacific the way it whispered in the distance.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Highest Shelves

The Highest Shelves

The dangers of you
run hot in my blood
and I shall kiss this red heat
amid the red rills
and runnels of scent
you offer me after nights
like those stars we keep
in the troves, in silk,
crimson silken canisters
lining the highest
shelves in our cottage.

July 12, 2011 5:53 PM

Thursday, June 16, 2016

In Honor Of The Magpie - A Magpie Tale

In Honor Of The Magpie

This pain has savor,
a dark bittersweet flavor
like fine chocolate.

I wish you were here.

I have been splurging lately
and I've also worked
my light boned fingers,
honing my picking skill set:
no pocket is safe.

I need your taming
as only you know how to
reach as deep as souls.

Well, I might fib some,
Exaggerate my sad case
just a little bit...

but I do miss you.

‎June ‎15, ‎2016 8:49 PM

Tess is not gone, not lost... She currently hangs out in Manchester, England, immersed in other matters, safe with friends and is happily international... and sharing the world with Mr. Robingo Snall as far as I understand it. This however, is just my strong and smokey impression, so do not quote me. Ask her. Or him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A While Back

A While Back

On those Saturdays
when I was seven years old
I'd go to Kenny's
house and watch TV.
Quicksand was a big scary
bog and someone was
always sinking down
horribly sucked in and doomed.
I tried my hand at
making small puddles
and succeeded at it once
when the muck was right
and the water flowed
as it must. Later I grew
out of my love for
the studio set
and the storied contortions,
the red scare fifties.

‎June ‎14, ‎2016 10:54 AM

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Jazz Singer

Billie Holiday At Her Last Recording Session

The Jazz Singer
Sings The Blues

I'm too sick to stand
steady and y'all expect me
to sing out for you -
to stay in front of
the band and belt this damn tune.
My friend Mick said, "Get
the picture?" and by
God, I really got it sure.
I really got it.
Sure I do, Sweetie.
So here goes nothin', you guys-
Here I go for you.

‎June ‎11, ‎2016 4:48 AM

(Introducing the last song of the last set, four months before dropping dead.)

*Written in remembrance of Ms. Billie Holiday of whom Wiki writes:

"By early 1959 Holiday had [severe symptoms of ] cirrhosis of the liver. She stopped drinking on doctor's orders, but soon relapsed. By May she had lost 20 pounds (9 kg). Friends, jazz critic Leonard Feather, her manager Joe Glaser, and photojournalist and editor Allan Morrison unsuccessfully tried to get her to a hospital.

"On May 31, 1959, Holiday was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York for treatment of liver and heart disease. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, under the order of Harry J. Anslinger, had been targeting Holiday since at least 1939. She was arrested and handcuffed for drug possession as she lay dying, and her hospital room was raided and she was placed under police guard. On July 15, she received the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and died two days later on July 17, 1959 at 3:10 a.m. from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver."

One final note: The poem is comprised of my own words and images and not really directly anything Ms. Holiday may have heard, seen or said herself. I am alone as has been my early morning habit nearly all my life. This poem represents my own journey if anyone's. Mostly, I compose my poetry as tiny short stories and not about my own life so much.

While at this moment, I am not at all conflicted, I too have felt the curse of the artist's yearning. I have been a singer, chiefly in groups, and a musician on guitar and keyboard, a long time poet, and a bad drunk as well. I sobered up in 1983. To my knowledge, I do not have cirrhosis, but I have diabetes, atrial fibrillation, edema and risk heart failure and stroke. I have made it to my seventies. Ms. Holiday died at 44.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Hard To Remember - Three Word Wednesday

It's Hard To Remember
My Original Intention

What an outlandish
notion you have written on
the skin of my soul.

I am perplexed at
what to do about it all.
The alligator
has now awakened
with hollows in bad places,
yellow angry eyes,
and teeth unsuited
for a wee nibble or two.

Instead she rips me
out of your swamp's edge
and rolls me over, under,
and again, again.

‎June ‎8, ‎2016 2:22 PM

Thom posted the following three words for Three Word Wednesday


His site contains the contributor list. Each name gives you access to their postings too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Village Guard

Oh please love me now,
you pushing past the native
walls of woven thorn
we use to keep out
the big cats, the hyenas,
while I walk my post
in full paint, with stone
tools I chipped myself, long time
past this swollen day.

July 7, 2011 7:10 PM

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Edge Of The World

I cannot show you
this shore, these breakers thrashing
the sandy chaos,
roiling far more than
buried life can bear for long,
the rocks upthrust, sharp,
with small damp caverns
and craters where wild things grow.
The edge of the world
is damp and salty,
like dilute new blood, pale light
like early morning.

July 7, 2011 9:30 AM

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting For Berry Pie - Prompt 157

Irene has put out another post soliciting poetry. Here is my response.

Waiting For Berry Pie

You said, "Let us pray."
I said, "Can't you see the past -
the shade of this day?"

It's true the garden
is filled with noon's bright green light.
Here my cat twitches.

Meanwhile, the berry
arbor grows green slender spines
and threatens to fruit.

‎June ‎1, ‎2016 9:07 AM

Click on the link above to connect with prompt 157. This poem is about a real part of the garden. Several years ago we bought pressure treated 4x4s and set the four verticals in concrete in the open space just outside my basement door. We tied them all together with 4x4s as mid and top rails, to make a box. Francie planted four patches, one at each corner post. Two patches are Marionberry and two are Boysenberry. The berry vines are wrapped around and tied to the arbor. Alongside this arbor to the east is planted a row of Raspberry canes.

In the bright of the Oregon spring and summer days, I am swamped by green light through the open door when I go to this part of the basement as I frequently do.

I recall going one year to our auto mechanic's farm at his invitation. There we picked all the blueberries we wanted from his blueberry patch. Oregon weather is perfect for growing berries.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Found in the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina
Beleived to be a Holocaust Lampshade
Made from human skin

In my former life
the capstone was when
they took my hide,
tanned it and used it
for Hitler's lampshade.

Giving my hide
was my last act
in Europe.
After the war
I was born
in America.

May 27, 2016 9:15 PM

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Opinions - Three Word Wednesday

Opinions Are Like...

She has considerred
me happy-go-lucky for
the last time, I bet
after the latest trick
I pulled on her. Ignorant,
a vapid, shallow
joyous infantile
heap of smelly meat - something
like that, I guess is
now closer to her new
opinion of me.
Ask me if I care.

‎May ‎25, ‎2016 7:21 PM

In re the title... in this neck of the woods people will note that
"Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one."
I apologize if I have gotten too earthy. Wait. No I don't. Because opinions are like...

Written for Three Word Wednesday using the words


Use the link to reach this week's contributor list. Thank you, Thom for continuing to post prompts so consistently for all these years. I for one wind up writing poems I never would have in any other process. Of course it is not for me to judge if that is really a Good Thing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I'm Older Now

Behind me I pull up
stakes or weeds or my insights
as I go - I wish
I knew how to hold
it all just like then when I
wished, wished I knew you.

Wishing that I knew
how to hold it all, thinking
then about now, what
now would be like when
I'd finally know.

July 5, 2011 5:03 AM

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Water Lily

The way you stretch through
from the pond shine to muddy
root and back again
to splay out bright signs
demanding touch by fertile
motes who gladly dive
toward your sweet heart,
the way you show me your light
strips me to my joy.

‎June ‎29, ‎2011 7:18 PM

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Muddy Path

A Reminder

I stumble along.
It's a muddy day.
In the mud are shards of grief,
sharp and gray at once,
set points up for me
to find with my bare skinned feet
so's I remember
what the hell happened
when I looked the other way.

June 22, 2011 6:04 PM

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